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E-collar with tracking

E-collar with tracking

Postby Nmhuntr » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:43 pm

As I consider buying an e-collar for my dog I am courious if it make sense to jump up to one with a tracker built in as well. Is it overload on the gadget side or do they work ok? If anyone has any experience with these I would appreciate some feedback on your thoughts.

Thanks
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby Dakotazeb » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:05 am

I just bought the Garmin Alpha. It's on the spendy side ($800) but it does work well. It has a lot more features than I will ever use but now I can keep track of my dog and also apply correction if needed. There is a $100 rebate on those units right now until September 10th.
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby birddogger2 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:18 pm

I have tracking units for my dogs. Have had them for quite a while.

I do not have a combo unit, as they are not allowed for field trials. I understand that they may not be as convenient to use as a straight up e-collar units such as TriTronics because you have to look at the unit. Most e-collar transmitters have buttons that you can push without taking your eyes off the dog.

As far as tracking units are concerned, I find the modern GPS based units incredibly helpful, both as a training aid and to keep track of dogs that are out of sight. You know almost exactly where your dog is, in just about real time. If you have a 5 second refresh rate, your info is 5 seconds old. That is good enough for me, but you can have quicker refresh rates if you wish.

The neat thing about GPS tracking is that, if you know the country you are training or hunting in, you can pretty much tell what your dog is up to by where it is, where it is going and how quickly it is moving(or not). For example, if your dog is 400 yards away and there is a copse of woods or thick cover out there and the unit gives you a point signal and then gives you a moving signal, it is a fair bet that the dog is messing with something in there.

If your dog is buried up in cover and on point, you could walk right by them. Not gonna happen with a tracking unit. That alone makes it worth it to me.

I actually find that I use the GPS much more than the e-collar when I am training. I can keep track of the dog and can call to it, turn it or stop it BEFORE it gets in trouble. If it blows off the verbal or whistle command(which you will determine in about five or ten seconds)...the e-collar is ready and waiting.


RayG
Last edited by birddogger2 on Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby greg jacobs » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:22 pm

They may not be ideal for training. But are great for hunting. I use the tone to bend my dog or recall them. Makes for a quiet day hunting. I haven't done it but I think a person can set up a custom screen and use the three mechanical buttons and set them up for 3 different intensities for training. What you can't do is change intensities on the touchscreen fast enough for training. I've got one big runner that I use to worry about loosing. Great piece of mind. You can also mark the truck location. Which is really nice in the fog or trees. Plus a bunch of other things Wouldn't be without one.
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby Sharon » Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:49 pm

I use a Dogtra 2500 B/T Cheap and easy to use. No tracking unit as such, but has a locator feature which tells you where the dog is up to about a mile- depending on the terrain. Correction feature of course and and on point feature.
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby Dakotazeb » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:14 pm

Sharon wrote:I use a Dogtra 2500 B/T Cheap and easy to use. No tracking unit as such, but has a locator feature which tells you where the dog is up to about a mile- depending on the terrain. Correction feature of course and and on point feature.


Oh come on now, you can hear the location beeper up to "about a mile - depending on the terrain"??????? I think that is quite a stretch. I owned a 2500 T&B for several years. It was a great unit. But there were times on windy days I couldn't hear the beeper more than 50 yds. away. Even on still days on level terrain I doubt the average person can hear the beeper more than a couple hundred yards. Should clarify here that the location feature on the 2500 T&B is a button on the handheld unit that makes the collar beep. You still have to determine what direction the sound is coming from and on windy days that can be a challenge. I've gone to the Garmin Alpha and now I know exactly where my dog is ALL the time. And using the stimulation buttons is as easy as any collar I've owned. Now I will admit that the stimulation can get a little tricky if you have multiple dogs.
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby tekoa » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:33 pm

Parroting Greg's post.

I have Two Setters and a Chessie

Training: Timing is everything in training, I like to have multiple low levels of stimulation available at all times (I have 50 levels on my DTS 2400) with the ability to quickly jump or rise to higher levels with very low chance of delay or error. A dedicated Training e-collar does this better than the combo locator/e-collar. Also most dedicated training collars allow control of launcher electronics which helps getting timing of launches correct.

In the hunting field: Use location capability to know where the dog is at all times, whether on point, hunting or about to get into trouble. GPS gets me back to the truck in the dark, fog, dust. Stimulation allows me to protect dog from Porkies, Coyotes, Wolves, Snakes, Bears, Highways, County Roads, Stock Tanks full of blue algae, Bulls, Cliffs, Fast running rivers, Cattle guards, all of which we have encountered over last few years.

I never use the stimulation in bird, hunting situations. I use the tone to bend and recall.

Don't know what I ever did without GPS..........Hope to never be without it.

However a friend of mine (Brittanies) finds the Garmin Alpha to be adequate for training and perfect for tracking.
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby Warrior372 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:36 pm

I use a Dogtra T&B 2500 along with a Garmin Astro. I like having separate units in the event one stops working. It also allows me to give quicker corrections as I do not have to toggle through screens because I have two separate handheld controllers.
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby Dakotazeb » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:01 pm

Warrior372 wrote:I use a Dogtra T&B 2500 along with a Garmin Astro. I like having separate units in the event one stops working. It also allows me to give quicker corrections as I do not have to toggle through screens because I have two separate handheld controllers.


If you only have one dog there is no toggling between screens with the Alpha. There are 3 buttons above the screen. Program one for momentary stim, one for constant and one for tone or vibrate. Very easy to change intensity.
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby Sharon » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:31 pm

Dakotazeb wrote:
Sharon wrote:I use a Dogtra 2500 B/T Cheap and easy to use. No tracking unit as such, but has a locator feature which tells you where the dog is up to about a mile- depending on the terrain. Correction feature of course and and on point feature.


Oh come on now, you can hear the location beeper up to "about a mile - depending on the terrain"??????? I think that is quite a stretch. I owned a 2500 T&B for several years. It was a great unit. But there were times on windy days I couldn't hear the beeper more than 50 yds. away. Even on still days on level terrain I doubt the average person can hear the beeper more than a couple hundred yards. Should clarify here that the location feature on the 2500 T&B is a button on the handheld unit that makes the collar beep. You still have to determine what direction the sound is coming from and on windy days that can be a challenge. I've gone to the Garmin Alpha and now I know exactly where my dog is ALL the time. And using the stimulation buttons is as easy as any collar I've owned. Now I will admit that the stimulation can get a little tricky if you have multiple dogs.


LOL Just speaking from my experience. Maybe your hearing is in trouble. :)

( Garmin Alpha trackers are illegal in Ontario.)
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby gonehuntin' » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:50 am

With a 2 in 1 unit, if anything goes wrong you lose the training collar and locator unit.
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby Sharon » Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:55 pm

Good point, but Garmin Alphas/ Astros are illegal in ON ,( frequency interference with our emergency vehicles) , so we have to go with what we have. Thankfully I've still got a loud voice. :)
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E-collar with tracking

Postby Shellottome » Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:55 am

Garmin alpha with tt 15 collars is the only way to go.


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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby NEhomer » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:43 am

You don't need to look at the Alpha 100 to correct but you do to adjust the intensity.

I have an Alpha 100 and TT15 and I would pay five times as much for it. It makes hunting a pure joy...and a quiet joy.
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby Kjcpoint » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:15 am

I'm not sold on the gps units. Have the pathfinder and alpha, the old Dogtra 2500 T&B is so much easier. I'm sure the gps would come in handy at some point. From what I've noticed the last 2 weeks, to much time spent looking at the phone or handheld. In a month I want to be looking down shotgun barrel instead of electronics. Just my observation and what works best for us.
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby NEhomer » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:27 am

Kjcpoint wrote:I'm not sold on the gps units. Have the pathfinder and alpha, the old Dogtra 2500 T&B is so much easier. I'm sure the gps would come in handy at some point. From what I've noticed the last 2 weeks, to much time spent looking at the phone or handheld. In a month I want to be looking down shotgun barrel instead of electronics. Just my observation and what works best for us.


have you hunted with a pointer on a gps?
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby Kjcpoint » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:21 pm

NEhomer wrote:
Kjcpoint wrote:I'm not sold on the gps units. Have the pathfinder and alpha, the old Dogtra 2500 T&B is so much easier. I'm sure the gps would come in handy at some point. From what I've noticed the last 2 weeks, to much time spent looking at the phone or handheld. In a month I want to be looking down shotgun barrel instead of electronics. Just my observation and what works best for us.


have you hunted with a pointer on a gps?


I sure have. Believe me, if I thought the gps would put us on more birds I would use it. It's more of a distraction to me. The type of ground we hunt also plays a role.
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby shags » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:29 pm

Kjcpoint wrote:I'm not sold on the gps units... From what I've noticed the last 2 weeks, to much time spent looking at the phone or handheld. In a month I want to be looking down shotgun barrel instead of electronics. Just my observation and what works best for us.


Easy solution...put the receiver or phone in your pocket and don't take it out unless you need it. Eyes glued to the device is your choice.
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby Kjcpoint » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:55 pm

shags wrote:
Kjcpoint wrote:I'm not sold on the gps units... From what I've noticed the last 2 weeks, to much time spent looking at the phone or handheld. In a month I want to be looking down shotgun barrel instead of electronics. Just my observation and what works best for us.


Easy solution...put the receiver or phone in your pocket and don't take it out unless you need it. Eyes glued to the device is your choice.



Like I said, lots of factors involved and the T&B is my preference. The good news is the bird numbers are looking fantastic. And they don't care what's around the dogs neck.
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby tekoa » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:58 pm

I've been using GPS for 15 years, and you are right,when you first start using it you spend way too much time messing with it and not paying attention to hunting. That goes away after a while. After the first season I rarely take the Alpha out of my pocket, unless it beeps to tell me pup's on point and I can't see him or I think he's been out of sight too long. But having GPS has saved his life or loss at least twice, so it's worth it. Haven't seen more birds but I have walked up more successful points because, when I can't see the dog I can get there more frequently before the bird decides to run or flush. ( I'm old and slow and my last Setter was a 200-300 yard dog.........)

P.S. I've used the GPS more to find my way back to the truck than I have to find a lost dog. In fact I don't even use the track back feature anymore. I just turn on my spare collar as dog 2 and leave it in the truck. I also hook it up to my laptop to run my Garmin Topo Map Software. Also very handy when hiking, exploring desert canyons, hunting bigger game, riding bikes, ATVs, boats, off road wheeling, finding that great bar you found in Great Falls last year.......Also backs up my Personal Locater Beacon which doesn't locate nearly as well as the Garmin in the woods and canyons.

Now if Garmin would add Walkie Talkie and PLB features to the Alpha, plus a flexible, folding 12 inch map screen, and batteries that last for a week, this gadget geek will have achieved Nirvana................
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby Kjcpoint » Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:20 pm

I definitely think they have there place and pleased that we have such technology. With all the roads here, I like the ability to get the corrections made fast. Each system works flawlessly, I just feel pre occupied. Digging the phone out of my pocket Wednesday night when the pup and I came across a skunk, that's as close of any encounter without taking any damage. By know means am I giving up on gps.
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Re: E-collar with tracking

Postby Featherfinder » Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:03 am

I choose the same set-up as Warrior. I prefer not to have "all my eggs in one basket" should one collar or the other fail or erode. Add to this that there are strategic differences in the Dogtra/Astro combo which I find quite utile when grouse hunting remote or new coverts.
One thing I suggest you NOT do is bend or recall your dog with the beeper function. Not sure about the various comparable models but my Dogtra allows for VERY low stim, as in to remind the dog of the expectation (bend or recall). There are Dogtra units that offer page or vibrate along with stim, but I digress. The beeper function - for those that hunt dense woods for grouse/woodcock etc. or high grassy cover- is intended to indicate a find when the dog is not visible there-by assisting you in finding your dog in a timely fashion. If your dog has been taught to bend or recall with this beeper, a find can pose a conflicting or in the least ambiguous situation for the dog, "Should I stay or should I go!?!?!". I have seen dogs trained that way (beep to recall). It posed some serious concerns for the owner(s) but to be fair, they were newbies.
I know...some folk have been using the beeper to bend/recall for years. I'm just sharing that the intent of a beeper was never to elicit a command or request. In doing so, you can introduce a problem should you also require the beeper to function as it was designed.
I can use my "locate" feature (which is what I'm guessing is used by the "beeper-benders") to do just that...locate my dog, not redirect him or have him break off an otherwise productive cast by bending or returning to me. The locate feature can also be my other set of eyes so-to-speak, when developing a gun dog. In dense cover I can touch the beeper at timely intervals. If the sound is diminishing, I know the dog is making a forward cast. If - for example - the sounds diminishes then becomes inaudible, that dog could be chasing or simply outside of the comfortable/productive range for his/her owner, etc. etc. Again, I don't necessarily want to interfere with or redirect the dog's application when the locate beep enunciates - I just want to check on his where-about.
Lastly, I teach gun dogs that it is their responsibility to keep tabs on where I'm going - not the other way around. I'm hunting birds not dogs. As such, I find audible commands, hand signals, bells or whistles to be invasive, even counter-productive on wild birds. My beeper is used to either locate (rarely) or is selected to the "point-only" mode, in which case I immediately turn it off once it indicates a find (once I'm homed in on the general area of the find). Obviously, I don't need the beeper at all on the prairies which is yet another reason I have the other Dogtra/vibrate unit (also acts as a back-up if required). This no-speaker system is especially light-weight which can serve the trainer of a collar-savvy dog. (Sorry if I'm all over the place!) And since I don't use my beeper to bend or recall, the unit without a speaker/enunciator is just as utile as the other system, possibly more utile in unique situations.
There is another manufacturer that incorporates all the features in one unit - stim, beep and vibrate. I LOVE my Dogtra. They are used/abused every day of the week on up to 6 dogs, hold their charge well while being user friendly and incredibly reliable. .....just sayin'.
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